Existing Niagara-on-the-Lake Wastewater Treatment Plant and Lagoon Decommissioning
All Niagara Region projects

About the project

Niagara Region, in collaboration with Parks Canada, completed a coordinated federal and provincial environmental assessment study for the decommissioning of the existing Niagara-on-the-Lake Wastewater Treatment Plant. This included the additional on-site buildings and structures, two aeration lagoons and two facultative lagoons.

The Niagara-on-the-Lake Wastewater Treatment Plant and Lagoon Decommissioning Class Environmental Assessment was completed November 2018. The existing wastewater treatment plant has reached the end of its service life and the facility has been replaced with the new wastewater treatment plant.

Located at 1738 Lakeshore Rd., the existing Niagara-on-the-Lake Wastewater Treatment Plant and lagoons consist of two parcels of land. The Region currently owns the parcel of land that contains the two existing facultative lagoons and a section of Two Mile Creek. This parcel was transferred from Parks Canada to the Region in 1963-64 to build the lagoons.

Another section of land was leased by Niagara Region from Parks Canada for additional construction in the mid 1990s. Together, these two parcels make up the project site and represent the area or lands to be decommissioned.

  • Memorandum of understanding

    The 2018 Niagara-on-the-Lake Wastewater Treatment Plant and Lagoon Decommissioning Environmental Assessment was completed in the follow-up to the 2012 Class Environmental Assessment that the Region completed for the design and construction of the new Niagara-on-the-Lake Wastewater Treatment Plant (1550 Lakeshore Rd.).

    As part of the previous coordinated federal and provincial Environmental Assessment, a Memorandum of Understanding was established between the Region and the Parks Canada Agency. This agreement includes the understanding that if the lagoon lands are no longer needed by the Region, they are to return to federal ownership to satisfy federal requirements.

  • Wetland restoration requirements

    The new wastewater treatment plant is located roughly 800 metres west from the existing plant. The lakeshore property overview can be seen in the image gallery.

    During the construction of the new plant, a green ash mineral swamp (0.43 hectares in size) was removed from the property. The 2012 Class Environmental Assessment included a commitment to compensate for the loss of this wetland on the existing lands as part of the decommissioning and restoration process.

    In accordance with the federal wetland policy, the Parks Agency Canada advised that the compensation should be such that there is no net loss of wetland function to the overall Lakeshore property. So, the replacement wetland created on the lagoon lands must maintain the ecological function provided by the green ash mineral swamp and follow the International Standards for the Practice of Ecological Restoration.

  • Preferred solution

    The 2018 Class Environmental Assessment reviewed and evaluated three alternatives for the project site. The preferred solution involves the decommissioning of the existing wastewater treatment plant and facultative lagoons, and the creation of a wetland and terrestrial habitats.

    The ultimate design will take into consideration:

    • Existing hydrological systems (like surface and ground water dynamics, Two Mile Creek)
    • Following the Memorandum of Understanding between the Region and the Parks Canada Agency
    • Abiding by the Federal Policy on Wetland Conservation to ensure no net loss of wetland function on all federal lands and waters (GoC 1991)
    • Ensuring connectivity with areas surrounding the project site
    • Any impacts and measure to mitigate such impacts to wildlife or hydrology (especially of remaining berms)
  • Maintenance practices following restoration

    Following final restoration, the Region will ensure maintenance practices don't impact wildlife and fish and will consult with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry's Best Management Practises for Mitigating the Effects of Roads on Amphibians and Reptile Species at Risk in Ontario (2016) for methods to be adopted as part of future maintenance operations.

Project timeline

2021 to 2025 - In progress
Phase 1: Design (2024) and Construction (2025)

Decommission and remove existing wastewater treatment plant including removal of all buildings, clarifiers and cleaning out of the aeration cells

2026 and beyond (to be determined)
Phase 2: Design and Construction

Facultative lagoon decommissioning and site restoration

Following construction completion
Five-year monitoring period to ensure survivability of plants and wetland function



Lindsay Jones
Manager Capital Projects
Niagara Region
Email Lindsay Jones

Kevin Kortekaas
Senior Project Manager
Niagara Region
Email Kevin Kortekaas

Public Engagement

Before phase two consultation, we will host a third Public Information Centre to inform the public on the upcoming construction details.

Image Gallery

Existing project site
This image the existing project site location of the Niagara-on-the-Lake Wastewater Treatment Plant.
This image shows the lakeshore properties including Lake Ontario, the new wastewater treatment plant, the existing wastewater treatment plant, DND lands and Garrison Village (pump house).
This image shows the existing project site and cross-sections.
This image shows the existing Niagara-on-the-Lake Wastewater Treatment Plant phase one project extent.
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